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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2001 Sep;87(3):222-6.

Long-term cetirizine treatment reduces allergic symptoms and drug prescriptions in children with mite allergy.

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  • 1Allergy and Immunology Clinic, Genoa, Italy.



Experimental data demonstrate that mite allergy is characterized by persistent chronic inflammation, even during asymptomatic periods. This suggests that long-term continuous treatment be included in the global strategy of allergy treatment.


We conducted a study to evaluate whether regularly administered cetirizine reduces allergic symptoms and drug prescriptions in children with mite allergy.


In this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, two parallel groups of 10 children with mite allergy (mean age: 6.5 years) received either cetirizine or placebo daily for 6 months. Participants were allowed to take rescue medications for rhinitis and/or mild asthma. The symptoms (nasal itching, sneezing, obstruction, rhinorrhea, conjunctival itching, lacrimation, conjunctival hyperemia, cough, wheezing, and chest tightness) were recorded on a diary card. The intake of cetirizine (as additional symptomatic treatment), antibiotics, acetaminophen, beta2-agonists, inhaled and systemic corticosteroids was also recorded.


Symptom scores and drug consumption were significantly lower (P < 0.05) in the cetrizine-treated group versus the placebo group. The greatest reductions were in cetirizine itself, inhaled corticosteroids, beta2-agonists, and antibiotics. No side effects were reported in either group.


In mite-allergic children, cetirizine administered daily for prolonged periods decreases symptoms of and drug prescriptions for allergic rhinitis and asthma compared with symptomatic treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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